Blog Post

Windows Phone is doing way better in Europe than in the U.S.

As we have noted before, Windows Phone(s msft) is getting a boost from Nokia’s decision to push it hard at the cheaper end of the market — the $170 Nokia(s nok) Lumia 520, introduced this year, seems to have been particularly popular. And that boost seems to be showing up clearly in Europe, according to analysts at Kantar Worldpanel.

Kantar’s latest figures, covering the three months to August and released this week, show Windows Phone is now approaching a 10 percent smartphone sales share in the 5 biggest European markets, namely the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. The platform has an average 9.2 percent market share across those markets, up from 5.1 percent a year back, with 10.8 percent in France and 12 percent in the UK.

Android(s goog), of course, is well in the lead with a 70.1 percent share in the key EU markets. Apple(s aapl)’s iOS is also healthily ahead of Windows Phone with a 16.1 percent share – although iOS’s share of sales falls drastically if you look at certain specific countries. In recession-hit Spain, for example, Android has a 90.8 percent share, leaving the rest to pick up the crumbs (iOS has 5.3 percent and Windows Phone 2.2 percent).

And while iOS has a good 27.5 percent share of the British market, up from 21.4 percent a year ago, the figure is down from 11.1 percent to just 9.5 percent in Germany, where Windows Phone – up from a 3.8 percent share last year to an 8.8 percent share this year – may actually outsell Apple soon.

Now compare all this to the U.S., where Android’s share is down from 60.7 percent to 55.1 percent year-on-year, Apple’s up from 33.9 percent to 39.3 percent, and Windows Phone up but still barely significant, going from 2.6 percent to 3 percent.

These are clearly very different markets, and the disparities between the U.S. and Europe should definitely be borne in mind by developers targeting one region over the other.

4 Responses to “Windows Phone is doing way better in Europe than in the U.S.”

  1. jgibson240

    Reading stories like this make me wonder how much of Apple’s success is by the carriers obfuscating the price of devices in the US. Nokia has $99 off contract phones. If users had to pay the full cost of an iPhone ( $649, $749 or $849 ) would it still have the market share it does now or would the numbers look a lot more like what they are in Great Britain where Windows Phone is about 1% point behind iPhone devices.

    Ideally the US will end subsidies and the true cost of phones will be clear. It drives me nuts that if I don’t upgrade my iPhone the day my contract expires that I’m continuing to pay the same prices month after month that are greatly inflated to cover the costs of the hardware subsidies.

  2. Windows Phone will eventually fail. It can happen no other way.

    Sub-10% figures across Europe will do nothing to hold off its eventual demise.

    Windows Phone is an island. It doesn’t run on tablets or desktops. It still has low developer interest.

  3. realjjj

    It’s not really about WP but about Nokia. The Nokia brand in the US means little to the young generation while in Europe the brand is still pretty strong. Last year Nokia was still offering plenty of Symbian phones and they had a smaller WP portfolio. Now Symbian is gone and they have more WP phones so there is growth in WP.
    Question is, what next? Can they grow share or the brand will keep loosing it’s value? M$ buying it might harm it hard and M$ is terrible at advertising so that might harm it further.
    In the US Apple gained on T-Mo and smaller carriers while it’s brand is a lot stronger than elsewhere plus it’s pricing is not a problem because of subs but this might be the peak.
    Google with Moto X is clearly targeting the iphone , T-Mo’s new ways aren’t helping costly hardware sales, Amazon might enter the market ,Nexus 5 might have LTE while Apple ,besides it’s ever present disadvantages, is falling behind – small screen with huge bezels , lack of wifi ac ,wireless charging and so on.
    Outside of the US Apple is strongest in english speaking nations where there is more marketing spillage and Japan ( for some unknown reason). Apple most likely peaks with a China Mobile deal and after that,how fast they decline will depend on their execution. If they put out another 4 inch phone with a minor facelift their decline will arrive faster. Maybe they can do better …. guess the new OS would do well on a phone with a screen wrapped around the sides or a normal screen with transparent/translucent bezel., something cool enough to help sales.
    Anyway ,back on topic , by buying Nokia M$ might harm sales and will certainly discourage it’s other partners to invest in WP so this buy might actually kill the OS. Guess we’ll have to wait 1-2 years to see how that goes and if the new CEO does anything relevant.